Cyberbullies Are Cowards. A High Schooler’s Perspective
Written by: Rebecca Brown – Senior at Joplin High School, Joplin MO
When you hear the word bullying, what do you think of? I used to picture a couple boys, pushing each other around on the playground. I also imagined a group of girls, whispering secrets to each other about a fellow classmate who is different from them. Though these are examples of bullying, when I hear the word bullying now, I think of something completely different. I think of cyberbullying.
Cyberbullying is “the use of electronic communication to bully a person, typically sending messages of an intimidating or threatening nature.” Being a teenager myself, I have grown up with access to the Internet and social media. I started joining different social media platforms when I was in middle school, and I noticed the presence of cyberbullying shortly after. I made these different social media profiles to connect and share with friends, so I initially thought of the Internet as a good place for me to do that. As I’ve grown up, I have realized that the Internet is not as safe as I had originally thought.
I have seen cyberbullying happen myself, and continue to see it periodically. It can come in many forms, from someone on Twitter tweeting and calling someone else dumb, to a person making an entire Instagram profile specifically to bully people. It doesn’t matter which situation seems more detrimental; people in both situations were bullied, and both were hurt.
Why is to so easy to cyberbully? The Internet is a great place to hide, and it provides a very easy way to bully people. I believe it’s so easy because before the Internet, a person would have to bully someone else face to face. Now, if wanted to, people have the opportunity to bully someone from anywhere in the world, hiding behind a screen. To be a cyber bully is to be a coward.
I’ve always liked to say that having access to the Internet is a blessing as well as a curse. When used properly, you can learn about interesting things, connect and share with friends, and have access to anything in the world all at the push of a button. Though there are many benefits, there are also some disadvantages, the biggest one in my opinion being cyber bullying. If the Internet was free of bullying, I think that it would be a much safer and nicer thing to be a part of. Like many, but not all Internet users, I personally like to live by the maxim, “If you can’t say anything nice, don’t say anything at all,” and I wish every single person on the Internet lived by that as well.